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    I was just looking for advice on University applications for American Unis like Harvard, Yale etc. (but specifically Harvard, if I'm being honest)...

    I'm currently in year 11 and am predicted 11 A*s at GCSE but I know that for Universities like Harvard good grades are pretty much required anyway. I'm also aware of the ridiculous 5%-ish acceptance rates and the added difficulty of an international application - basically, my question is, is it even worth trying?

    I plan to take Maths, Further Maths, History and Latin at A-Level (but am still questioning whether to substitute Latin for English Literature instead..) with the intention of hopefully applying to Oxford in 2 years for Mathematics and Philosophy (I'm doing a philosophy-based EPQ and read around the subject quite a lot).

    My worry is the emphasis that American universities put on a 'well-rounded' individual; my strong suit is probably academics and I'm not really sure if I have anything like what they're looking for in terms of extra curricular activities..
    I'm currently working towards grade 8 on the flute, grade 6 on the cello and grade 6/7 on the piano. In honesty, music pretty much takes up my whole life: orchestra, concert band, ensemble groups, choir... I like to debate and qualified last week for the national finals in Oxford next month (sidenote: which I'm pretty excited for, is anyone else going?). I'm part of my school's law society, and next year we'll participate in a national competition as 'barristers' in a mock trial - still yet to figure out whether law is in my future. I regularly write philosophy-based articles for the 'Thought in Action' section of my school's online magazine thing.. Following on from philosophy, I was kindly offered the role of head of my school's philosophy society. My favourite subject would probably be maths: I got the chance to represent my school at the Regional Finals of the UKMT Senior Maths Team Challenge this year and hope to perhaps progress to nationals next year. I just took the intermediate UKMT challenge today so I can't say how that went, but previous years have been okay; I've gotten through in the past, to the pink and grey kangaroo rounds but have really tried this year to qualify for the Olympiads. I'm currently taking part in GCHQ's cypher competition for girls, so we'll see how that goes (but random but oh well)! And that's pretty much everything...

    I'm sorry if the above came across rather arrogant or whatever; I'm just really desperate to gage whether I should even consider an application in the future or not.. Honest opinions please!

    (Oh and if anyone has gone through the process/has any more tips on what I can do to improve a possible application that would be amazing!!)
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    (Original post by pal04)
    I was just looking for advice on University applications for American Unis like Harvard, Yale etc. (but specifically Harvard, if I'm being honest)...

    I'm currently in year 11 and am predicted 11 A*s at GCSE but I know that for Universities like Harvard good grades are pretty much required anyway. I'm also aware of the ridiculous 5%-ish acceptance rates and the added difficulty of an international application - basically, my question is, is it even worth trying?

    I plan to take Maths, Further Maths, History and Latin at A-Level (but am still questioning whether to substitute Latin for English Literature instead..) with the intention of hopefully applying to Oxford in 2 years for Mathematics and Philosophy (I'm doing a philosophy-based EPQ and read around the subject quite a lot).

    My worry is the emphasis that American universities put on a 'well-rounded' individual; my strong suit is probably academics and I'm not really sure if I have anything like what they're looking for in terms of extra curricular activities..
    I'm currently working towards grade 8 on the flute, grade 6 on the cello and grade 6/7 on the piano. In honesty, music pretty much takes up my whole life: orchestra, concert band, ensemble groups, choir... I like to debate and qualified last week for the national finals in Oxford next month (sidenote: which I'm pretty excited for, is anyone else going?). I'm part of my school's law society, and next year we'll participate in a national competition as 'barristers' in a mock trial - still yet to figure out whether law is in my future. I regularly write philosophy-based articles for the 'Thought in Action' section of my school's online magazine thing.. Following on from philosophy, I was kindly offered the role of head of my school's philosophy society. My favourite subject would probably be maths: I got the chance to represent my school at the Regional Finals of the UKMT Senior Maths Team Challenge this year and hope to perhaps progress to nationals next year. I just took the intermediate UKMT challenge today so I can't say how that went, but previous years have been okay; I've gotten through in the past, to the pink and grey kangaroo rounds but have really tried this year to qualify for the Olympiads. I'm currently taking part in GCHQ's cypher competition for girls, so we'll see how that goes (but random but oh well)! And that's pretty much everything...

    I'm sorry if the above came across rather arrogant or whatever; I'm just really desperate to gage whether I should even consider an application in the future or not.. Honest opinions please!

    (Oh and if anyone has gone through the process/has any more tips on what I can do to improve a possible application that would be amazing!!)
    We can't give very detailed advice as there is a mini-industry surrounding applications and admission to Ivy League. Maybe posting on collegeconfidential will generate useful feedback!?

    Our thoughts are:

    1) The success rate for Harvard is around 5% which is lower than for any single Oxford course and compares with an overall Oxford success rate of 21-22%.

    2) Because US course length tends to be longer than in the UK, the completion rate is lower (90% for the top Ivy Leagues).

    3) Harvard are looking to recruit future leaders across a broad range of fields (including business and politics). Successful applicants have to score well in tests and have a great transcript but the selectors place more weight on non-academic factors than Oxford do. Eg UK students write PS - Ivy Leagers may have to write essays on a variety of things.

    Good luck if you give it a shot!
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    ahh so i see you're applying for the worst universities in the world. If at all I recommend Alabama university.
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    keep in mind that the 5% acceptance rate is affected by the fact that american students aren't limited in the number of universities that they can apply to. This means that plenty of people apply to tons of universities just for the sake of it.
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    I guess what you have to lose is: the application fee, and the time you input. Which isn't much, but then your chances are pretty small too.

    Its up to you to decide whether that's worth it.

    PS: for someone with supposedly weak extracurricular that's a pretty long list. My equivalent would've been playing football with friends some Fridays and that time I found a penguin bar behind the sofa.
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    when I looked at american universities I notice they charge extortionate amounts compared to what we charge here. otherwise I would apply to them to. I might still do so but i dont have extra curricula things to put on a CV unless I lie which I think would work out badly. on top of that I could only go there with either a lottery win or scholarship. have you thought about how you would be able to afford this?
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    (Original post by Robbie_Returns)
    I recommend Alabama university.
    My alma mater. And as well my wife's.
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    I'd also note that you may have to take additional SAT tests if you want to apply in the US. TSR has a forum iirc.
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    (Original post by pal04)
    I was just looking for advice on University applications for American Unis like Harvard, Yale etc. (but specifically Harvard, if I'm being honest)...

    I'm currently in year 11 and am predicted 11 A*s at GCSE but I know that for Universities like Harvard good grades are pretty much required anyway. I'm also aware of the ridiculous 5%-ish acceptance rates and the added difficulty of an international application - basically, my question is, is it even worth trying?

    I plan to take Maths, Further Maths, History and Latin at A-Level (but am still questioning whether to substitute Latin for English Literature instead..) with the intention of hopefully applying to Oxford in 2 years for Mathematics and Philosophy (I'm doing a philosophy-based EPQ and read around the subject quite a lot).

    My worry is the emphasis that American universities put on a 'well-rounded' individual; my strong suit is probably academics and I'm not really sure if I have anything like what they're looking for in terms of extra curricular activities..
    I'm currently working towards grade 8 on the flute, grade 6 on the cello and grade 6/7 on the piano. In honesty, music pretty much takes up my whole life: orchestra, concert band, ensemble groups, choir... I like to debate and qualified last week for the national finals in Oxford next month (sidenote: which I'm pretty excited for, is anyone else going?). I'm part of my school's law society, and next year we'll participate in a national competition as 'barristers' in a mock trial - still yet to figure out whether law is in my future. I regularly write philosophy-based articles for the 'Thought in Action' section of my school's online magazine thing.. Following on from philosophy, I was kindly offered the role of head of my school's philosophy society. My favourite subject would probably be maths: I got the chance to represent my school at the Regional Finals of the UKMT Senior Maths Team Challenge this year and hope to perhaps progress to nationals next year. I just took the intermediate UKMT challenge today so I can't say how that went, but previous years have been okay; I've gotten through in the past, to the pink and grey kangaroo rounds but have really tried this year to qualify for the Olympiads. I'm currently taking part in GCHQ's cypher competition for girls, so we'll see how that goes (but random but oh well)! And that's pretty much everything...

    I'm sorry if the above came across rather arrogant or whatever; I'm just really desperate to gage whether I should even consider an application in the future or not.. Honest opinions please!

    (Oh and if anyone has gone through the process/has any more tips on what I can do to improve a possible application that would be amazing!!)
    Both schools are my favorite in their respective countries. Since I am from Indonesia, I applied to both of them (England and US are both far from here anyways). Recently, Harvard deferred me to the regular decision 'pool' but I got an offer from Oxford. I also did go to Harvard for 2 summers in their college summer courses.

    Personally, I think you are on the right track for both England and US universities. Your academic life is very good and yet you seem to have a lot of extracurriculars, which is important for universities such as Harvard. SATs are a bit troubling but if your first language is English I think you will do just fine.

    For Oxford vs Harvard I think I would side more with Oxford these days (not just because I've received an offer):
    - Their tutoring program is one of a kind. I doubt Harvard has those classes.
    - 4 vs 6 years for a Master Degree.
    - I should say that Oxford dormitories are a lot better than Harvard's (really). You can have a personal room whereas in Harvard you most likely have to share it with someone.
    - If you are a UK citizen then you will be supported by the government right? It is still cheaper than Harvard if you decide to pay full (£30000 vs $60000)
    - Trump (if you care about job opportunities for foreigners after you graduate)

    For mainly reason number 1 and also the rest, I can say that if Harvard accepts me at the end I will still pick Oxford (given that I get a 39 out of 45 in IB!).

    Good luck on your future!
 
 
 
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